2000 - 2009
Congress passes legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), authorizing transfer of the Mukilteo Tank Farm from the U.S. Air Force to the Port of Everett. (The tanks, built in 1950 along the Mukilteo waterfront, had come down in 1997; deconstruction of the tank farm’s pier began later, in 2015.)
The Port begins planning for a new 65-acre pedestrian-friendly mixed-use development, Port Gardner Wharf, in the central marina area. Plans eventually include condominiums, restaurants, shops and a 1,000-seat amphitheater. However, the project as envisioned dies when the developer, Maritime Trust Company, declares bankruptcy later in the decade.
On September 11, terrorists use four airliners to launch attacks on the United States. Two planes hit the World Trade Center in New York, one hits the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and one crash-lands in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Almost 3,000 people lose their lives as a result. The U.S. government responds with changes to port and airline security that will greatly affect U.S. ports and their clients in the following years. As a result, the Port of Everett fences off its Seaport and creates only one cargo entry point. The incident also affects air travel and airplane makers, including the Port’s major client, The Boeing Company.
The Port receives its first National Environmental Improvement Award for its work in transforming the Union Slough property in the Snohomish River Estuary into a successful intertidal estuarine marsh surrounded by a public walkway.
From September 28 to October 8, the ILWU is locked out during contract negotiations with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA); the Bush Administration threatens to use the National Guard to run the ports. The lockout ends when the ILWU and the PMA come to an agreement on wages and hours.
The Port acquires two surplus gantry cranes at no cost from the Port of Seattle; the cranes, to be painted a smoke blue color chosen by the community, will help the Port better handle containerized and oversized cargo.
Boeing announces that its new midsize 7E7 passenger jet (later renamed the 787 Dreamliner) will be assembled in Everett.
The Port dedicates the California Street Overcrossing at Hewitt Terminal, allowing train travel underneath and truck travel overhead. The project also includes a sidewalk to allow pedestrian access to the waterfront. The overcrossing is part of the Freight Action Strategy for Everett-Seattle-Tacoma (FAST Corridor) — a partnership combining local, state, federal, port and railroad resources to eliminate choke points in national freight transportation.
The Port takes over operations and marketing for the entire Seaport. Since 1999, SSA Marine had managed these functions at the Port’s Pacific Terminal, its primary container and breakbulk facility. The move means that the Port of Everett will become an operational port, not just a landlord port.
The Port signs its first three shipping lines — Westwood Shipping Lines, Eastern Car Liner (ECL), and Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO) — and puts container cranes in operation at Pacific Terminal. The Port becomes the third-largest container port in the state as it starts taking direct aerospace shipments from Japan.
2005 (through 2013)
The Port begins removing 25 buildings in the central marina area to make way for environmental cleanup and its planned $400 million Port Gardner Wharf mixed-use development.
The Port builds Pigeon Creek Trail, creating public access to a beach and viewpoint where visitors can watch passing trains as well as the Port's terminal operations. Access is via Terminal Avenue.
On October 13, President George W. Bush signs the SAFE Port Act into law, authored by Senator Patty Murray as a response to the September 11 attacks. The law, which allocates $400 million to implement its provisions, is aimed at securing the nation's ports and trade economy. Two of the main requirements are the implementation of a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, and increased security standards for all cargo entering the United States. Senator Murray and U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (D-WA) visit the Port of Everett to celebrate the bill’s passage on October 5.
The Port and the city of Hiroshima, Japan, sign a Cooperation Agreement. The historic shipping agreement pledges expanded liner service between the two cities, starting a direct flow of goods between Hiroshima and Everett. This cooperative agreement is stronger than a “sister port” agreement and is the first of its kind in North America. Hiroshima Prefecture and Everett are similar: each has a growing community that’s working to develop its seaports and promote its facilities in the international trading market.
Lehigh Hanson, a subsidiary of Heidelberg Cement, signs a 20-year lease with the Port to store bulk cement at the former alumina dome for Pacific Northwest distribution.
The Port constructs the 900-foot-long Mount Baker Terminal, a rail/barge hub near Mukilteo, to support shipments for The Boeing Company. The terminal, financed with the help of a $15.5 million state grant, provides a seamless water-to-rail-to factory link for oversized aerospace parts. The pier services the Port of Everett’s regular aerospace cargo shipments between Japan and Everett. The new facility opens in May 2008.
The opening of the Port’s 220-slip 12th Street Yacht Basin (now North Docks) creates another marina, maintaining Everett’s claim to the largest public marina on the West Coast (with a total of 2,300 slips).
The Port breaks ground on Port Gardner Wharf, its long-planned combined residential and commercial development, in the central marina area.
The Puget Sound Initiative was established by Washington Governor Christine Gregoire with the goal of restoring the health of Puget Sound by 2020. The Port of Everett at the time has more than 215 acres of waterfront property under cleanup action — more than any other agency in Washington state. The Port reports that it has five significant cleanup projects underway: the Everett Shipyard site; the West End and Ameron Hulbert sites, both in the central marina area; the Bay Wood site, and the Weyerhaeuser Mill A site.
In September, the former alumina dome’s transition into storing cement is complete when the first ship from Lehigh Northwest Cement Company arrives. The dome can hold about 40,000 tons of the material.
The commercial fishing fleet’s net sheds near 14th Street are dismantled as part of the Port’s project, that begun in 2005, to remove two dozen buildings in the central marina area, making way for cleanup and revitalization with a new mixed-use development.
The Port clears the South Terminal of logs to prepare it for breakbulk cargo.
The Port, along with the rest of the country, begins to experience effects from the Great Recession. The Port Gardner Wharf developer files for federal bankruptcy, placing a hold on the Port’s mixed-use waterfront development; cement shipments to the newly repurposed storage dome are paused.
The Port completes Phase I of the Craftsman District, including a new, environmentally progressive boatyard catering to the marina’s boating community.
Everett Shipyard relocates from the Central Marina area to the Port of Everett Seaport; it’s later purchased by Vigor Marine, whose four-acre shipyard specializes in ship repair and refit. The relocation creates an opportunity to clean up the Everett Shipyard site (located between 14th and 15th streets on West Marine View Drive) and stimulate a mixed-use development on the waterfront (later to be transformed into Fisherman’s Harbor).
The Port fights in federal bankruptcy court to regain control of central marina-area property from the Port Gardner Wharf developer.
Managing the Effects of 9/11 and the Great Recession
Surely the biggest influence on the Port of Everett, and the nation, at the start of this decade was the events of September 11, 2001. The shocking terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that day killed nearly 3,000 people, leaving the country devastated and scared. In addition to the emotional toll of September 11, the Port and its operations were affected in many other ways, from its local response to the ensuing
national and global market challenges it was forced to deal with. Port security immediately shifted from a focus on trade enforcement and narcotics to the now very real threats from terrorism; soon various laws and screening measures were enacted, focusing on container security. Air travel slumped — airlines and airplane manufacturers suffered, as did the Port’s major client, The Boeing Company. But while those were difficult times, the Port moved forward, as did the rest of the country.
By this time, the north bayfront had transformed into primarily a pleasure boat and boat-launching hub with a variety of businesses and recreational resources. In February 2001 the Port had begun planning a waterfront neighborhood there — Port Gardner Wharf — of condominiums, town homes, professional office space, shops, restaurants, inns and a boatyard that would offer small-vessel repair and maintenance. Another marina was created in 2007 with the opening of the 220-slip 12th Street Yacht Basin (now called North Docks),
designed for larger vessels ranging in length from 40 to 143 feet. With the completion of this new marina, Everett maintained its standing as the largest public marina on the West Coast with a capacity of about 2,300 boats, including guest moorage.
Business picked up as the Seaport acquired two surplus gantry cranes from the Port of Seattle to help move containerized cargo, and later signed its first three shipping lines. The Port’s aerospace connection was rekindled with Boeing’s 2003 announcement that Everett would be the assembly site for its new 7E7 passenger jet, and with the opening of the Port’s Mount Baker Terminal, a rail/barge hub designed to move goods, such as oversized aerospace parts. The former Alumina Dome was given new life as a place to store bulk powdered cement, and the Port began removing buildings in the central marina area to make way for the future mixed-use development.
Yet near the end of the decade, the Great Recession gripped the nation, including the Port. Projects already in the pipeline — such as the newly inked cement shipments and the long-planned Port Gardner Wharf development — stalled, bringing new challenges for the coming years.